A Los Angeles police sergeant responding to reports of someone with a firearm Jan. 11 thought a man had pointed a gun at him, so he opened fire and killed him, police say.
But the object in the man's hand was actually a bicycle part, the Los Angeles Police Department says in a release. The agency posted a photo of the handgun-shaped part Friday on Twitter.
A witness to the shooting also initially mistook the object for a gun, police said.
The fatal shooting took place at 12:40 p.m. at the intersection of South Sepulveda Boulevard and South Venice Boulevard near the Los Angeles city limit with Culver City, police reported.
Victor Valencia, 31, died in the incident, the Los Angeles Times reported. Chief Michael Moore named Valencia at a police commission meeting Tuesday, although the county coroner has not yet released his identity.
Coroner officials said it did not appear Valencia was homeless, but activists at a nearby encampment say he had been asked to leave because of his mentally ill behavior, according to the publication.
Police identified Sgt. I Colin Langsdale as the officer involved. No officers or other bystanders were injured, the release says.
Investigators with the police department, district attorney's office and state are looking into the incident, police said.